Global eye health business to invest over $35 million to increase distribution capabilities
RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today announced that Bausch + Lomb, a leading global eye health business of Bausch Health Companies Inc. (NYSE/TSX: BHC), will invest more than $35 million to expand its manufacturing facility in the City of Lynchburg. In total, 79 new jobs will be created over the next five years.
The company’s investment includes the purchase of 13.1 acres of land across from its operation at 1501 Graves Mill Road, and the new facility will expand the overall site to 190,000 square feet, which will provide distribution capabilities for the company’s medical device products, primarily contact lens products, and will be the main point of distribution in the United States. The company considered locations in other states, however, the strong performance of the current operations and favorable economic environment associated with Virginia made Lynchburg the logical choice for the expansion.
“Bausch + Lomb has been a valuable employer and partner to Virginia for more than 25 years, and we are thrilled to see this global company expanding its manufacturing and distribution operation in Lynchburg,” said Governor Northam. “The region’s infrastructure and world-class workforce will position the company for continued growth and success, and we thank Bausch + Lomb for this important economic boost for our Commonwealth.”
Bausch + Lomb develops, manufactures, and markets one of the most comprehensive product portfolios in the industry, which is available in more than 100 countries. Its core businesses include over-the-counter products, dietary supplements, eye care products, ophthalmic pharmaceuticals, contact lenses, lens care products, ophthalmic surgical devices, and instruments. The company employs more than 195 workers throughout Virginia, with 153 reporting to its Lynchburg facility.
“Bausch + Lomb’s selection of Virginia as its primary distribution point for the United States is a testament to our strategic location and economic climate, and we thank the company for its major investment and 79 new jobs,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “This expansion in Lynchburg will allow the company to meet increasing demand for its eye health products, and Virginia will continue to support Bausch + Lomb as we work toward economic recovery and increased opportunities for citizens across the Commonwealth.”
“Bausch + Lomb is one of the world’s most respected eye health brands, due in large part to the high-quality contact lenses distributed from our Lynchburg site,” said Joseph C. Papa, Chairman and CEO of Bausch Health Companies Inc. “The existing proficiencies and expertise in Lynchburg made it the right place to invest in a needed expansion to help us meet anticipated demand for our newest and most innovative contact lens products. The additional capability in Lynchburg will enable us to ensure Americans have access to our high-quality contact lenses, which is critical to our company’s ongoing transformation and to helping us meet our mission of improving people’s lives with our health care products.”
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) worked with the City of Lynchburg to secure the project for Virginia. Governor Northam approved a $210,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to assist Lynchburg with the project, as well as a performance-based grant of $300,000 from the Virginia Investment Performance (VIP) program, an incentive that encourages capital investment by existing Virginia companies. The company is eligible to receive state benefits from the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program, administered by the Department of Housing and Community Development.
Support for Bausch + Lomb’s job creation will be provided through the Virginia Talent Accelerator Program, a workforce initiative created by VEDP in collaboration with the Virginia Community College System, with funding support from the Northam administration and the General Assembly. Launched in 2019, the program accelerates new facility start-ups through the direct delivery of recruitment and training services that are fully customized to a company’s unique products, processes, equipment, standards, and culture. All program services are provided at no cost to qualified new and expanding companies as an incentive for job creation.
“I am so pleased that Bausch + Lomb has chosen Lynchburg for this expansion,” said City of Lynchburg Mayor Mary Jane Dolan. “We are proud that employers continue to choose the City of Lynchburg to grow their operations, supporting a strong business climate and ready workforce. Bausch + Lomb is a valued corporate citizen in the City of Lynchburg and we look forward to many more prosperous years of partnership.”
“Supporting the retention and expansion of existing businesses, especially growing jobs in strategic markets, is the number one priority of our economic development efforts in the City of Lynchburg,” said Mark Strosnider, Chair of the Economic Development Authority of the City of Lynchburg. “Lynchburg and its citizens are stronger because employers like Bausch + Lomb choose to grow here and we are proud to support their investment.”
“We are delighted that Bausch + Lomb chose Lynchburg to expand their distribution capabilities,” said Senator Steve Newman. “The addition of 79 new jobs further strengthens the economic vitality of our entire Central Virginia region. I wish Bausch + Lomb the best as they continue to grow and serve as an outstanding corporate partner in the City of Lynchburg.”
“This expansion is absolutely a win for Central Virginia and the City of Lynchburg,” said Delegate Wendell Walker. “I am thankful corporations and businesses of all sizes see our region as a friendly place to develop and expand. During these trying times, it is refreshing to see this kind of investment in our community.”